The Greek bireme was an oared warship with two rows of oars on each side. It was a revolutionary invention by (possibly the Biotian Greeks since the Trojan War or more probable their settlers, the Erythraeans in Asia Minor in the 8th century B.C.) which doubled the motion force of the ship without increasing its length. This was an important advantage in pirate persecutions and in the ramming of opponents. She was fitted out with a bow ram
Steering was achieved with the two big oars. Place on both sides near the stern. Complementarily, it had a large square sail with many pulleys for its unencumbered handling. During fighting the sail was furled. It usually had 100 oars ("ekatontoros"). Its dimensions reached length 32 and beam 4.80 metres respectively.
Sometimes it had a deck for the protection of the oarsmen and the facile transport of the warriors.

SOURCES: "The History of the Greek Nation, Ekdotiki Athens", "Dellopoulos, The Greek Trireme", "Deligiannis Pericles, Naval History", "Homer, Iliad", "Aelianos Taktikos, Tactic theory".
Vietnam 1986 1d sg988, scott 1686.


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Postby shipstamps » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:12 am

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Built as a 3-masted Baltic trading schooner (most probably by Holzerland, the only yard which still built sailing ships in 1915) at Barth, German Baltic Sea coast for Detleff Christensen, Stettin.
Launched under the name META.
Tonnage 98 grt, net 57, dim. 25.5 x 6.3 x 3.25m. (draught).
1915 Completed.
1925 Sold to H.L. Rasmussen, Denmark and used between Portugal and Iceland, with salt to Iceland and with stockfish back to Portugal.
(I was in the same trade with a Dutch coaster in the late 1950s for 8 months, with salt from the Mediterranean to Iceland and back not with stockfish but salted cod. A Palmhof)
1927 Sold to owners in Stocken, Sweden?, and an auxiliary engine fitted in. (There is not a Stocken in Sweden as given by WP, Navicula gives Stokken, there is a Stokken in Norway in the Oslo Fjord.)
1944 Sold to N.H.Pettersson, Byxelkrok, Öland, Sweden.
Not more economical in the Baltic trade she was sold in 1964 to B.K.H. Engdahl, Stockholm and used as a sailing art gallery. For two summers she acted as a pirate ship with an armament of 18 guns.
1968 She got the part of “Hoppetessa” in the movie “Pippi Longstocking”, later she played a roll in the Swedish film “The Emigrants” where she was used under the name CHARLOTTA OF CARLSHAM.
1968/69 Rerigged in a 3-mast barque.
1972 Was she moved to the Mediterranean, to be used for day or overnight sailings. During that time was she also used in the film “Treasure Island” as the HISPANIOLA, where Orson Welles played the roll of Captain Silver.
1974 Under the name GHOST played a roll in the film “Sea Wolf” made after the book written by Jack London.
December 1977 during a heavy storm she sank off the Greek island Kefalonia. (The web-site gives Kelfonia, but so far I know there is not a Greek island with that name.) SG689
Auke Palmhof

Source: Navicula, Watercraft Philately.
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